The compartmentalization of the Godhead of the Christian faith, was a decided turn away from the Jewish concept, embodied in the SHEMA of Deut. 6:4. The dividing of God into three separate, distinct, persons, is seen in the polytheistic "trinities of the pagan nations, and this came about later in history, when Gnosticism infiltrated the church, as "the grievious wolves not sparing the flock," of which Apostle Paul warned, calling it "science, falsely so-called."
In contrast to Christianity's Hebraic roots, and revelation of God based upon prophetic revelation, the Greeks coined a term in relation to the gentile Greek theatre, which identifed one actor playing out many parts in a play, as "PERSONA."
This concept of the persona or "mask" for the face, is utilized in preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in describing the fact that "In Him (MESSIAH) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form. (COl. 2:9) Jesus said: "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father!" The term employed by New Testament writers, however, is the Greek word, PROSOPON, which is translated "person," or "persons," in Matt. 22:16, Mark 12:24, Luke 20:21, 2 Cor. 1:11, 2 Cor. 2:10, Gal. 2:6, Jude 16, but the meaning is better understood as "appearance." (Vines Expository Dictionary)
The term is found in Greek dictionaries as the term "appearance," from PROS="towards" and OP="an eye."
How does God appear to mankind? In His word, He states that He is in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. (2 Cor. 5:19) He reveals, manifests Himself, appears to us as "one God." Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. (Deut. 6:4) The fulness of the Godhead dwells in Messiah in bodily form. (Col. 2:9) "In these last days he has spoken to us in His Son." (Heb. 1:2) We behold the Shekinah in the face of Yeshua/Jesus. "And we who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18) Who is this speaking of? The Godhead. But the focus is Christ, whom we are beholding, fae to face, or Pros ton theon. In His glorified form, Messiah is referred to as "the Spirit," for He is the Living God of the Old Testament, who is also our Redeemer, and Lord. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:2) Apostle Paul encountered Him on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:5.
In Greek theater, masks were attached to small hand held sticks, which the actor would hold up to his face. As he changed the character of the play, to begin acting out a new part, he held up a new mask. This expresses idea of roles, not persons expresses the Greek term "PERSONA."
Like many English words, 'persona' comes from the Latin: "person, n. [L. persona, primarily a mask used by actors, hence, a character, a person, from personare, to sound through - per, through, and sonare, to sound.]" (Webster's International). The Latin 'persona' is directly equivalent with the Greek 'prosopon', as Boethius, as a sympathetic sixth century observer of Christianity, noted:
"For the word "person" seems to be borrowed from a different source, namely from the masks (personae) which in comedies and tragedies used to represent the people concerned...The Greeks, too, call these masks 'prosopa' from the fact that they are placed over the face and conceal the countenance in front of the eyes: (from being put up against the face). But since, as we have said, it was by the masks they put on that actors respresented the individual concerned in a tragedy or comedy - Hecuba or Medea or Simo or Chremes, - so also of all other men who could be clearly recognized by their appearance the Latins used the name 'persona', the Greeks 'prosopa'." (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, Contra Eutychen, III).
God said to Moses:
"You cannot see My face ['prosopon' LXX]; for no man shall see Me, and live.'" (Exodus 33:20). Yet God has made a way for people who have deeply longed for relationship with Him on a deeper level, to see God and live: "So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis 32:30). There is a face of God which no man can see and live. Yet there are those who have seen God and lived. Does the Bible contradict itself? That cannot be! Some, like Daniel, have seen similitudes and visions in the night, but others are plainly stated to have encountered the LORD Himself, face to face:
"So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle." (Exodus 33:11); "Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?" (Numbers 12:7-8); "But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face ['prosopon kata prosopon' LXX]..." (Deuteronomy 34:10). Thus, there is a face of God which no man can see and live. Yet prophets and patriarchs have seen God and lived. Jacob saw God face to face, in the form of an angel: "So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face [prosopon pros prosopon LXX], and my life is preserved.'" (Genesis 32:30)
"He took his brother by the heel in the womb, And in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, And there He spoke to us - That is, the LORD God of hosts. The LORD is His memorable name." (Hosea 12:3-5). "The LORD bless you and keep you, The LORD make His face ['prosopon' LXX] shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance ['prosopon' LXX] upon you, And give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26). "Restore us, O God; Cause Your face ['prosopon' LXX] to shine, And we shall be saved!... Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face ['prosopon' LXX] to shine, And we shall be saved!... Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; Cause Your face ['prosopon' LXX] to shine, And we shall be saved!" (Psalm 80:3-19).
The concept of portraying roles, with masks is familiar to Asians where the custom prevails in their theatre, using masks of this sort.
The Romans utilized persona to describe the actors mask. The Septuigent translators of the Hebrew bible, translating the bible into Greek, substituted the term PROSOPON, as the "sounding mask" through which God spoke, or signifying "out of the mouth of the Lord."
New Testament Greek Lexicon:
Strong's Number: 4383 pro/swpon
Original Word/Word Origin
pro/swpon from (4314) and ops (the visage, from (3700)
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling:
Prosopon or pros'-o-pon
- a) The face, the front of the human head
- b)Countenance, look, the face so far forth as it is the organ of sight, and by it various movements and changes)
- c) The index of the inward thoughts and feelings the appearance one presents by his wealth or property, his rank or low condition outward circumstances, external condition used in expressions which denote to regard the person in one's judgment and treatment of men the outward appearance of inanimate things
KJV (78) - countenance, 3; face, 55; misc, 5; not tr, 1; person, 7; presence, 7; NAS (73) - ahead, 2; appearance, 5; before, 2; coming, 1; face, 37; faces, 5; openly, 1; outwardly, 1; partial, 3; partiality, 1; people, 1; person, 1; persons, 1; presence, 11; sight, 1;
Often Latin translators at times preferred to translate the word as PERSONA. King James translators also in an effort to be creative, would take a single term and translate it invarious ways. With the passing of time, Latin words meanings have been obscured.
YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME YESHUA/ JESUS:
Does all this have bearing on the Joseph Generation, prophesied by the Patriarch Israel in Genesis 49? Yes, for ones revelation of God is foundational, according to Jesus Christ's statement:
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." (Mark 12:29)
We see in the concept that God is ONE," the fact that God is Spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The one true and living God robed Himself in flesh, as is summed up in Hebrews 1:1-2, where God, "who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past in the prophets, but has in these last days spoken unto us in His Son." This is what the incarnation was all about. The angel told Mary: You shall call his name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins. (Matt. 1:21)
Messiah, has a "glorified body," received when He raised from the dead. He walked through a wall, and appeared in a room among His disciples. He told them: Touch Me! They were indoors "for fear of the Jews." Messiah entered and stood in their midst while the doors were shut. (John 20-21) Prophecy states that at the Second Coming, He will literally stand upon the Mount of Olives and the mountain will split in two. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zech 14:4) In His glorified body the Lord, the King Eternal will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an arch angel, and the dead in Christ, together with those who are alive and remain will meet Him in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. I Thess 4:15-16 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Messiah appeared in a vision to the Apostle John when the the apostle he was exiled on the isle of Patmos. (Rev 1) John received the Revelation of Yeshua haMashicah/Jesus Christ. He appeared to John as "The Ancient of Days!" As the King Eternal, Our Rock. There is no Rock like our God. He appeared in the shekinah to Saul of Tarsus, who considered himself a "Pharise of the Pharisees," and when disclosed to Saul who was persecuting the church: I am Yeshua/Jesus whom you are persecuting." (Acts(9) It was prophesied that a virgin would conceive, and bear a son. This happened exactly as God said. He was born in Bethlehem of Judea, as the prophet Micah spoke, in Micah 5:2. (Matt. 2:1) He is Immanuel: God with us. (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23) Now, after paying the redemption price for all mankind, He has ascended into heaven, some 2000 years ago, where he ever-lives to make intercession for the saints.
Messiah told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem for the promises of the Father which they had heard of Him. He said: "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." They waited until the Spirit of the Lord came like a rushing mighty wind filling men as well as women with His Spirit and they spoke supernaturally in other tongues. (Acts 2) Again, Yeshua/Jesus poured forth His Holy Spirit, (Acts 2:33) that people might know Him intimately, and walk in His ways. John the Baptist prophesied that Messiah would baptize believers in the Holy Spirit. (John 1:33)
Some have known God in incredible closeness and power. Apostle Paul was caught up to the third heaven, where God revealed to him, things he was not at liberty to disclose. (2 Corinthians 12:2) Do you long to know God to a greater degree than you have up to this time? God has spoken to us in these last days in His Son. (Heb. 1:1-2) The revelation God gives of Himself through the blood of the precious Lamb of God is by far the greatest understanding there is. His Spirit calls you to "Come and dine." Yeshua Himself said: Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no part of me. Sound strange? It's about appropriating oneness with God, through the blood shed as a propitiation for sins. He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17) We are bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh. (Eph. 5:32)
In His prayer in John 17:21-23, the Lord prayed that we might walk in Him and know God with the intimacy Messiah Himself knew God, and do the greater works He said we would do, when He returned to heaven:
"That they all might be as thou Father in Me and I in thee. That they might be in us, that the world might believe that you sent me. And the glory which you have given Me, I have given to them, that they may be as we are. I in them, and Thou in Me, that the world may know that you did send Me, and that you loved them, even as you loved Me."
WORSHIPPING GOD IN SPIRIT & IN TRUTH
"God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth." (John 4:23) Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. (Leviticus 17:11) In Messiah, the Lamb of God, God prepared Himself a body, that that blood would be the protitiation for the sins of the world. (Heb. 9:22) Messiah is the ONLY True God.1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (I Timothy 1:17)
This is the True God, and eternal life. (I John 5:20) God is ONE.
CHRIST IS MADE UNTO US THE WISDOM OF GOD
(Providing For Others In Time of Spiritual Famine)
Teach what is seen in scripture, and do not deviate from it. God is ONE! Jesus said in Matt. 28:19, to baptize in the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." By revelation, the apostles, both Jewish and Gentile, baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ," for the bible says that in Messiah dwells "all the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form, and we are complete in Him." (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:46-48, Acts 19:5)
Jesus Christ, being Jewish, taught the Jewish nation to whom He came, from the standpoint of the Messianic prophecies which they'd heard for hundreds and thousands of years, from the mouthes of their Hebrew prophets. It was an abomination to think of the Godhead as more than one person. The God of the Old Testament who is Israel's "Rock," is the One Lord of Israel. (Psalm 18:2,42:9) He is the same Rock of Ages He has always been. He is not another person, or second Rock in the New Testament. The Great King of the Old Testament, is not one person of the Godhead, and Jesus Christ a second King. That is a ludicrous assertion, isn't it? God is ONE!
Messiah had always been a manifestation of God Himself come in human form, as the Lamb of God, the sin-bearer which takes away the sins of the world. As King of Kings, He shall rule as the "Son of David," who destined to sit on the throne and rule forever. When Messiah made such "oneness statements" as "I and My Father are one. He that has seen Me has seen the Father," the Jews accused Him of "making Himself equal with God." Not lesser mind you, but having equality, with God.
This simply oneness belief is not a polytheistic Gentile or gnostic thought such as these possess, which divides the Godhead into compartments. That same Spirit that raised Christ from the , dwells in us. My bible says of Messiah, "Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Cor. 3:17) The passage is speaking of the difference between the administrations of law through Moses and of grace which came by Jesus Christ. He's the same glorified saviour who appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road, and whom Saul of Tarsus recognized as Lord, in the SHEKINAH, though how could he be? And the Lord said: "I am Jesus!" (Acts 9:5) Jesus recited the SHEMA, when asked which was the first and greatest commandment. God is one! And speaking about "face to face" encounters with God...and the topic of spiritual inheritance:
Rev 21:21) And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Rev 21:22) And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Rev 21:23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light (Gk.="LAMP") thereof.
Rev. 21:21-23, shows that the fulness of the Godhead emanates from the face of Jesus Christ. The next time you look at a street lamp, or that lamp in your living room, remember this about Jesus Christ: He is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15) The express image of God's person. Believers have "this treasure" in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might be of God andnot of us.(2 Cor. 4:7)
UNTIL THE TIME THAT HIS WORD CAME
(The word of the Lord tried him...Psalm 105:19)
"Whose feet they hurt with fetters. He was laid in iron. Until the time that his word came, the word of the Lord tried him..." (Psalm 105:19)
Those we love can disappoint or even betray us out of envy, but how we respond to our sufferings deterines the blessing we shall derive from our trials. We read: Jacob "loved Joseph," more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age, and he made a richly ornamented robe, (KJV) a coat of many colours, for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him, more than any of them, they hated him, and could not speak any kind word to him. (Gen. 37:3-4)
Jacob dwelled in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan, with the children born to him. Joseph was born 6 years before he left his Laban's household. Of his childen, he had a special love for Joseph, and made him a coat of many colours. The Hebrew word for coat of many colours, here, is kethoneth passim, indicating a garment made up of differently coloured stripes of cloth. From then on, Joseph's brothers hated him, and could not speak peacably to him. The Hebrew text indicates not so much that they quarreled, but they did not offer the customary blessing of "SHALOM LECHA! Peace be with thee," when they saw him approaching.
When he was 17, Joseph was sent by his father, to assist the sons of Bilhah, and Zilpah, his father's concubines, in Shechem. (Gen. 37:2) Joseph said:
"I have dreamed a dream, and we were binding sheaves in the field. and my sheaf arose and stood upright, and your sheaves stood around and bowed down."
They did not want to see that coat there. How come "he" has that? They wanted to throw him and the coat out. He wears it here. He wears it there. How irritating. He never takes it off. He sleeps in it. One young street person told me he had to sleep with his shoes on at the men's mission, or the guys would steal his shoes. You just have to keep going on in faith. The patriarchs believed this, journeying as strangers in a strange land. But the psalmist said of God:
You brought us out into a wealthy place. (Psalm 66:12)Even when it seems there is no rest, Jesus Christ is our resting place. He told us to take his yoke on us, and to learn of him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and we will find rest for our souls. (Matt. 11:29)
I see a vision of a young man. He returned home to find his clothes on the doorstep. This is what was in store for Joseph in a round-about way, as he joined his brothers one day in the field. It's a painful experience to feel rejected by your own brethren. In a vision I see another "Joseph." He grew up in the church, where he enjoyed great popularity. He was sent out to assist his brethren in another state in a church planting effort. He was very excited about this. But as the weeks wore on, so many things seemed to go wrong. When he got there to the new post, his biggest trial began. The people to whom he was sent didn't seem to like him. Sometimes he felt like he wasn't so fond of all of them, either. The house didn't sell immediately, so there was the additional strain on his marriage of a financial burden. Other trials erupted. He felt alone, forsaken, cut off from fellowship. At the hospital, as his wife gives birth in an emergency sitution, it's an entire day, until anyone from church contacts him, and he is shaken. This young pastor, who had been a champion at the large home church, had yet to learn to stand in times of feeling totally alone. Here real growth would take place, as he learned in a greater measure to lean upon the Lord.
He asked the advice of some experienced Christians, thinking they'd give him some piece of real "cutting edge revelation." They did--they both said exactly the same thing: You're planting a church? Then Satan is going to attack you so hard. Better just lock yourself up and pray.
I knew a Christian family with several children. The church prayed for many years that single mom would get married, and one day she did. The youngest brother cried, when the wedding service was over, and he had to change clothes and they had to take the tux back to the store, because he'd never had a coat that was really nice. Many years later when the older brother got married, he said to the younger brother, who was to be in the wedding party: I'm going to BUY you a tux, so you'll have it forever. The mantle God gives is forever. Nobody can take it away from you, for no man is able to pluck you out of God's hand.
God gives me another vision, and I see a youth pastor. He has had a situation that has been so frustrating to him. At the youth retreat, some of the youth seemed totally unresponsive. One particular youth at the retreat, was a real problem. After they'd returned home, he felt annoyed as he spoke with the boys mother. But he said to himself: "I will give up a days pay, and I will pray." He prays and within three monthes there is a dramatic change in a family in his church, which takes place in a very unusual way. Without the youth pastor giving another rebuke to this young man, he suddenly disappears from the youth group. He is removed from the family, by the juvenile authorities, never to be returned. That family goes on with God, as they wanted so much to be able to do, as they were doing, but they were weary of fighting the shame, and violence. Just as this situation was hidden from the youth leader, Joseph's plight or the total answer for the solving of it, was hidden from Jacob who watched for the family. There are the hidden things, which God sees, like he saw the tumult growing in Jacob's family toward Joseph. By Him actions are weighed. The youth leader was frustrated, because he felt responsible. The parents, both intercessors, and prophetically gifted, with a zeal for evangelism, were ashamed, because they felt they should be able to straighten this kid out. But the truth is, this young man's salvation could only come from God. The various individuals God used, were various components, which were important. There is liberty in seeing that at times we can take on such a burden, that we ourselves feel "totally responsible." Ultimately, God alone is saviour. Trust in the Lord. The brothers of Joseph, who hated him the more, said: Oh, so you think you are going to reign over us?
And Joseph dreamed another dream, telling it to his father and brothers. "The sun, moon and 11 stars bowed down to me." (Gen. 47:9) When they saw him coming, they said: "Here comes that dreamer..." They felt he was "exalting himself." He seemed to signify that he was the firstborn, and he was not. How could Joseph receive the blessing of the firstborn portion? Ultimately, even Joseph's own father seemed annoyed, responding: "Shall I and your mother and brothers indeed come and bow ourselves to the earth before thee?" (Gen. 37:11)
One day, Jacob said to Joseph: "Don't your brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Go, I pray you, see whether it be well with your brethren, and with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, to Shechem, some 60 miles away. (Gen. 37:14) A certain man found him wandering in the fields looking for the brothers, and said: "They left here," so Joseph walked another 8 miles, till he found them in Dothan. As the brothers saw Joseph afar off, they said: Here comes that dreamer. (Heb="BAAL HACHALOMOTH, "Master of dreams") And they devised a plan to slay him.
Their first thought was to him, but after Reuben intervened, saying: "Let's not kill him. Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit i the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him." The scriptures tell us that Reuben hoped to deliver Joseph out of their hands, and to return him to his father again. (Gen. 37:21-22) As he approached, they grabbed him, and tore the "milti-coloured coat off of him, casting him into the empty pit.
The brothers deliberated over their meal, how to rid themselves of Joseph, and lifting up their eyes, they beheld a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices and balm and myrrh, which they were transporting to Egypt. Judah said, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his blood? Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not harm him. After all, he is our brother--our own flesh. And his brethren were content with this." It was decided that they would "sell the teenager to the Ishmaeites, for 20 pieces of silver.
THE WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM
"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." (I Peter 1:7) "...Who are kept by the power of God through faith, unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last days..." (I Peter 1:5)
There is a significant period of time which occurs between believing and receiving the fulfillment to a prophetic word or vision. The things which happen in the natural realm, during this phase of testing, are a paradox for they seem incongruous as far as the promise is concerned. In this does the trying of our faith become so crucial. We must continue to walk in the word of the Lord. Joseph's brothers set out to show Joseph whom would bow to whom.
They dipped their brother's beautiful coat in the blood of a goat kid, returning with it, to their father, to say: "This is what we found. We don't know if it is your son Joseph's or not." And Jacob recognized the coat, and said: It is my son's coat; an evil beast has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces."
The Ishmaelites, or Midianites hastened on to Egypt with their load of spices, and newly acquired slave. Here they exchanges Joseph, for 20 pieces of silver, to a man named Potiphar. Potiphar was the official over the palace guard, and captain of the guard, in whose service he remained for ten years. The Hebrew phrase denoting the type of employment Potiphar was engaged in is saris, translated "officer." The term "sar hattabbachim," signify Potiphar was the "Chief of the butchers." An apt term, in a land where to offend the king, meant "Off with his head!"
THE SPIRITUAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS
"And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Potiphar made Joseph "overseer," of all his house." (Gen. 39:2-6)
The term for "overseer," here, is hiphkid, from pakad," meaning "to visit, to take care of, to superindend." The scriptures tell us that:
"All Potiphar had was in his hand, and he didn't know what he had, except the bread he ate. Joseph was a goodly person and well-favoured." (Gen. 39:6)
And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and said: Lie with me." But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, My master has committed all that he has into my hand. There is none greater in this house than I. Neither has he kept back anything from me but you, how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? And it came to pass, that day after day, that he hearkened not to her to lie by her, nor to be with her.
And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and none of the men were in the house. And she caught him by his garment saying: "Lie with me," and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got out. (Gen. 39:6-14)
And it came to pass that when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had gone, she called to the men of the house, and spoke to them saying:
See he has brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us. He came in to lie with me, and I screamed, and he fled, leaving his mantle in my hand. And she laid the mantle by her, until Potiphar came home.
When Potiphar arrived, she said:
And note the way in which the manipulative eress wife of Potiphar first tries to influence the household staff against her own husband, who hired the Hebrew servant named Joseph, with her remarks suggestive of the judgment of Potiphar. Perhaps a bit anti-semitic. Then she turns these remarks to Potiphar in behalf of herself, saying:
"The Hebrew did this...""The Hebrew servant you brought to us, came in to mock me, and I screamed, and he fled. When Joseph's master, heard the words of his wife, his wrath was kindled." (Gen. 39:19)
Potiphar took Joseph and put him in the prison, where the kings prisoners were bound. This word for "prison" is BEITH SOHAR, and literally means "the round house."
But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour with the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed all into Josephs hand, all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was in Joseph's hand, because the Lord was with him, and that which he did the Lord made it to prosper." It was an act of faith, for Joseph to flee from the presence of Potiphars wife. He was a man of holiness and godly integrity, who knew that he stood in the presence of God.
God has end-time sons and daughters, those in the temple, who "stand by night," but because they are believers in Messiah, who do the works of Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ, the presence of God within their own heart and life, is the SHEKINAH light and glory about them.
The scriptures call the sinful worldly system "the Harlot." In your life, you will see the miriad of ways in which it is seductive, appealing to you as a holy person, as a godly person in Messiah, to compromise what the word of God says is true. Remember Joseph, as an example. Most of all, remember the life of Messiah, himself, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. (Gen. 39:21-23)
The fact that God blesses is an invitation to evil men and women that feel they can manipulate, control or in otherwise exploit things for their own benefit, and Satan is not called DIABOLOS ("to throw through-to riddle with doubts") for nothing. The motive may be jealousy, or feeling envy at what they feel they themselves cannot have. There may be the desire to see the one who is blessed, have to suffer, "as they themselves do." Yet the wicked, fail to perceive that part of their problem comes from their own lack of integrity, or obedience toward God.
We live in times in which "allegations of every description are being leveled at people, no matter how godly they may be.
In America, false allegations remain on an individuals police record, even if there is an investigation and the person is exhonerated. If you are a person God has blessed, you may find allegations of a vicious nature leveled at you. If you walk in the authority of the Spirit of the Lord, be a person of prayer. Pray also for those who would envy your prosperity, or make you the object of their scorn. These may be false friends, relatives, or strangers. In some countries, allegations may come from the authorities, suspicious of your motives for even being there.
There's a psychology to this sort of allegation. It demoralizes and brings deep discouragement or depression. Scandals of various sorts, from financial discrepancies, to moral failures erupt continuously, in various cities across the globe. Fighting for your innocence in court is time consuming and a waste of resources. Do not allow gossip-mongers to erode away the faith of your house of worship. In your home, teach your children:
"How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, than ran down the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore." (Psalm 133:1)
It is tempting to think: "Because I am a righteous man, or woman, I will never suffer from such problems. Look at the life of Joseph. From the life of Joseph, we see that personal integrity before God, is by far the greatest measure of protection you can have. But it is no guarantee that we will not suffer for righteousness sake. For the sake of our belief in one true and living God.
THE PROSPERITY & BLESSING OF GOD
Jesus Christ, the Messiah Himself was "delivered up because of envy. The bible says of envy...
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous, but who is able to stand before envy? (Prov. 27:4)
There are several Hebrew terms for "trials," and each speaks of fire, because it's related to the custom of refining gold, is a smelters pot. bachan, means "To be tried, proved and tested." massah, means "A trial, proving, testing. In the New Testament, the Greek words, dokime, and peira, speak of the trying of our faith, that it might come forth as gold when that is purified and separated from the impurities or dross.
God's word teaches us that "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." (2 Tim. 2:12) Romans 5:21, teaches us that we must reign through righteousness. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, who assumed that they were on the cutting edge, "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God that you did reign, that we also might reign with you!" (1 Cor. 4:8) So it is that as individuals, it is possible to possess spiritual knowledge, but to lack keen spiritual sight. I was invited to a church once that was training others of various churches, and God gave me a prophetic word which said that there was an unnatural "spirit of conformity." Where people quench the spirit out of fear or intimidation, this is seen. God wanted to pour out tremendous revelation on the place, that the corporate anointing might be copious. But there was a hindering principality spirit. What accomodates this type of thing? I believe one thing is "comparing themselves with themselves," as scripture warns not to do.
JOSEPH IN THE MELTING POT
As Joseph sits in prison, the butler and baker, also offended the king, and are sent to prison. The term mashkeh, translated as "butler," is "cup-bearer." opheh properly means "baker." As kitchen staff, they may have been accused of displeasing the king in the preparation of his meal, or of attempted . Whatever the case, they are now found to be state-criminals, detained in the same facility as Joseph, where Joseph continued a season in the ward. Then the two men both dream a dream, and as the dreams were not understood, or did not seem good, they were very sad. (Gen. 40:6)
God gives to Joseph the interpretation of the dreams, and he relates the truth, as God has shown it to him, to each of the men, and the prophecies come to pass in a remarkable way, exactly as they were interpreted.
Soon the Egyptian Pharaoh himself is given a dream, and Joseph is released and called to the palace to interpret the kings dream.
The king sent and loosed him, even the ruler of the people and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure, and teach his senators wisdom." (Psalm 105:20) But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand, when He appeareth? for He is like a refiners fire, and like fullers soap. And He shall sit as a refiner, and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi,and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:2-3)
What a culture shock there is in an exile experience. Joseph's initial estrangment from the family, and slavery was tragic in itself. Now he finds himself unjustly imprisoned, with racial slurs being made toward his ethnicity, which amounts to slander of his faith, and allegations of ual assault toward a high officials wife.
When a culture experiences a transformation because their borders are altered due to religious persecution, or war, and an individual is forced to move from one culture to another, as Joseph's captivity forced him to do. There is an immediate "immersion experience," in store for the DIASPORA, in which the new language is learned, one takes on the clothing of the culture, the learning of behaviour modification, so as not to be offensive to the foreign culture.
My own ancestors endured such hardships many times. Some of my ancestors came under persecution in Germany. In France, in the 1600's, others of the family fled over the German border, living and working till the German Palatinates came under religious persecution, at which time they fled up or down the Rhine River, in small boats, to neighboring countries, where refugees without relatives in a city, lived in tent communities, or were driven off, sometimes aboard rat infested, prison ships to prison in another location. Or working in the new country, till passage could be earned for immigrating to America. The trip up the Rhine alone took 6 weeks, and the small scows had to slip unseen and unheard, past the campfires of enemy troops, in spite of crying children and babies, or individuals including elderly family members who may be ill. Yet God has been faithful to us throughout the generations.
In ancient times, captives were deported to a place unfamiliar to them, where they underwent a complete cultural modification, enforced by their captors. In modern times, cultural modification is done for various reason. It's utilized for business purposes, by sales people traveling between countries, such as the learning of the Japanese culture, or some other facet of the sales business, to assist them in their public relations.
Following the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy, our nation became more aware of the Islamic culture. The government, from a military standpoint, studied such strategic elements of warfare, as illegal immigrants, or falsified immigration documents, to ascertain, to what extent there had been penetration, by advancing foreign forces. On a local level, we became more aware however, of more subtle, changes.
When we found it necessary to stay in a motel on the Olympic Penninsula, not long ago, we were amazed to see the walls covered with Islamic paintings. We were struck by the fact that this was a new style of motif in this region, than we'd seen before.
Having occasion to stay twice in the same place, in two different rooms, the art was exactly the same. As an artist, I am facinated with and enjoy art, but these colorful painting, depicting warring Islamic horses and riders, seemed somehow "out of place." As if all your life, you lived in Mexico and Arizona, with art filled with cactus,and sombreros on motel walls, and suddenly you find the walls adorned with artwork depicting Islamic mosques.
In the Pacific Northwest, tourists have come to expect motifs such as pine boughs and pinecones, especially when we take a trip to the mountains. Perhaps Islamics are living in these mountainous regions of the United States, as this is the topography of their homeland. Having been raised in a missions-minded home, around ethnic people and indiginous art, and I am comfortable with artwork of various forms as long as demonic spirits signifying their fortified strongholds, are not the subject of the piece. There seemed to be fear or intimidation depicted in the forsemen of this artwork, as one might see cruel-faced temple dogs of jade guarding gates in China.
I found myself wondering how many Islamics live in the region? Did an Islamic person own the building? Did he expect a high population of Islamics to visit his establishment? Or did he simply feel that with the Sept. 11, 2001 situation, that Islamic art would be of interest to his tourist trade?
THE CULTURAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCE
We see this cultural "immersion experience" utilized by the Babylonians to turn Jewish captives into Babylonians, who also loved the arts, and their artwork now identifies the various places they invaded, or conquered. Intercessory prayer newsletters tell us that these cultural motifs are identifying characteristics which help one understand something about "spiritual warfare."
Daniel and the 3 Hebrew children, Shadrach, Mescach and Abednego, chose not to be assimilated, but remained stedfast in their Jewish faith. Moses underwent 40 years of training as "the son of Pharaoh's daughter in Egypt, and was learned in all of the manners of the Egyptians.
After Constantine merged the pagan beliefs of sun-worship with Christianity, this too became a cultural immersion experience that has extended it's pagan influence on believers in Messiah, to contemporary times. The first followers of Yeshua haMashiach, were largely Jewish followers of Messiah. As anti-semitism was aimed more and more at Jewish leaders and meeting places, such as Saul of Tarsus enforced in Acts 9, depleted the church of those with a pure understanding of the Judaic roots of this heritage.
Did the Council at Nicea in 325 A.D. have any Jewish leaders at all? Probably not.
As Gnosticism crept in, beliefs differed dramatically in such essentials as praise and worship. Gnosticism, with it's denial of "matter," caused worship to take on more of a silent, or mental form, and all Messianic Jewish dancing as worship, was excluded!
One of the deep senses of sadness believers feel, is that we know from God's word, that within a human family, we cannot ever share the joy of knowing Messiah as one with a birth family is opposition, to those who do not believe in Messiah as Saviour and Lord, though we care deeply for these birth families we were born into.
It was God who allowed the separation to come in Joseph's life. When we are born again, it's God's word which causes a separating work of God within us, which separates us unto Him, and places our allegiance with Him.
THE END TIME JOSEPH & THE RULERS OF THIS PRESENT AGE
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that are come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." (1 Cor. 2:8)
From the writings of Daniel the Prophet, we learn that when a demonic territorial spirit, which Ephesians 6 refers to as "world rulers," supplants the territorial spirit of another region, there is often a complete "takeover." Daniel prayed for 21 days, and received no answer. When the angel of God came, he told Daniel, "I am come for thy words.
Daniel was given revelation by the angel, concerning the demonic resistence of "The Prince of Persia," which delayed angelic intervention. The angel gave the Prophet Daniel revelation concerning "the latter days." (Dan. 10:12-13) The angel said: "After I am gone forth, lo, the "Prince of Grecia" shall come." (Daniel 10:20) This was exactly what transpired in human history. The world government of the Medo-Persians was supplanted and Alexander the Great, took the known world, subjecting it to the rule of the Grecian world government.
Nothing is more crucial, than God's intervention in the world system, in which we live. It was important that He worked through Joseph in the Old Testament, setting him as a leader in the land of Egypt. It is critical now. Throughout scripture, we see many politically influencial people ministered to by God's word, used to assist God's people, or converted to Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said: You will be brought before kings and rulers for My names sake. (Luke 21:12) New Testament believers in the early church came from every strata of society, from business or sales people, and tradesmen, educators, correctional institutions officers, kings and judges courts in the land.
As culture immersion projects in colleges, universities and public elementary schools feature such religions as Islam, across America, what we should observe as Christians is that religious groups such as Islamics, and others will continue to utilize America's "constitutional rights" in the propagation of their faith.
As early as autumn of 1999, God began to speak prophetically to various intercessors and prophetic people across America, concerning Islam at the Gates of America. Cindy Jacobs, of Generals of Intercession published a prophetic word. I asked a Messianic Jewish friend, who visits her mother in Europe fairly often, about this, and was told that in Berlin, high school s walk about in burbas, because they "think it's cool." Pastors in Philadelphia were interested to learn that 10,000 Muslim missionaries were being sent to their city. Simultaneously, a London paper ran a full page ad, by the Islamic community, commanding the British nation to convert to Islam, or their blood would be on their own heads. A publican from Vatican City, printed a report stating that the Italian pope favored the Italian Communists and Islam.
...More recently, 4,200 freshmen and transfer students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were scheduled to discuss a book about the Qur'an that university officials assigned over the summer.
We have pondered the fact that the U.S. military is fighting for freedom on Iraqi soil, and here at home, the nations public school children, and universities are receiving a "cultural immersion experience." What remains to be seen in the end, is who will prove to be the vanquished and who will be the conquerors? Is this "cultural immersion" thing the proverbial "Trojan Horse," or what?
Consider the various ethnicities which make up the American populace. Yet, public school children, are not taking on Ukrainian Pentecostal names, and being water baptized.
THE ENDTIME JOSEPH & THE JOB MARKET
- Joseph's wisdom and guidance, from God, came partly from visions and revelations he personally received, or others received, and God gave him the interpretation. As an Israelite, Joseph also had been taught by his father Jacob/Israel, the vision God imparted to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, for this was a progressive purpose of God. Joseph's own family did not receive these same prophetic words,nor agree with them, when he shared them, but misinterpreted the prophetic words, sometimes partially out of jealousy."The vision is yet for an appointed time." It would speak in the "end." (Habakkuk 2)
- God will continue to use Christians in political positions, whether all believers agree or not. Joseph is a type of Christ here, of whom it was prophesied: "The government shall be upon His shoulder..." (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus Christ is ruling in the heavenlies now. In these last days, God looks for men and women of integrity to rule through, that they might "Be fruitful, multiply, and replentish the earth" with the holy seed. Not a bad resume for an individual who's spent a portion of their life in prison. success story.
Joseph's job experience is multi-faceted, and his resume would read something like this:
- Name: Joseph (Gen. 35:26)
- Gender: Male (Gen. 35:26)
- Birthplace: Padan-Aram (Gen. 35:26)
- Ethnicity: Hebrew
- Married to Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On(Gen. 41:45)
- 2 Children: Ephraim & Manasseh (Gen. 41:45, 50, 52)
- Criminal history-Unfounded charge
Job experience includes, but is not limited to:
FEEDING & CARE OF LIVESTOCK
- Care of Jacob's flocks & Herds (Shechem) (Gen. 37:12)
- Assistant (Dothan) (Gen.37:17)
- Served: Spice exportation business of Ishmaelite origin. (Gen. 37:28) (Their company did not deal in spices alone, but also other facets of the import/export business.
- Potiphars house, Capt. of the Royal Guard.
Domestic Engineer, Superintendant of Household Staff (Gen. 37)
- Promoted to: Chief Steward Potiphars House (Gen. 37)
- Oversaw all facets of household duties (Gen. 39:4-6)
EGYPTIAN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OFFICER
Outstanding achievments included:
- Outstanding performance review-Prison Warden-Egypt (Gen.39:23)
- Asst. to Chief prison guard (Gen. 39:22)
- Consultant-Anxious,& depressed inmates, including row inmates. (Gen. 39)
- Oversight of prisoners (Gen. 39:22-23)
- Interpretor: Prisoners dreams.(Gen. 40:1-23)
- Prophet to the Prison House (Gen. 40:5-23)
- Recruited to serve as advisor to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:15-36)
GOVERNOR OF EGYPT/MIZRA'IM
- Prophet-Advisor to Pharaoh, King of Egypt (Gen. 41:25)
- Interpretor: Pharaoh's dreams and visions
- Oversight of grain conservation program-7 yrs Gen. 41:48)
- Land developer
- Supervisor of Aid to Dependant Families Health & Welfare Bureau-Egypt (Gen. 47:12)
- Responsible for the infrastructure necessary for grain stores. (Gen. 41)
- Disaster preparedness specialist-FEMA
- Loan Officer (Gen. 47:14)
- Real Estate Investor (7 yrs Gen. 47:20)
- In charge of Egyptian emergency feeding program (7 yrs Gen. 41:56)
- Financial Oversight of Egypt for 7 years
- Special public relations officer (Gen. 43)
The job market is of course, strategic, to the end-time work of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Disagreement often comes as people judge that those in these positions are there for their own glory, and could not possibly be placed in these positions "by God's own will."
God prepared Joseph for the task. Pharaoh was the supervisor that gave Joseph the job. Joseph was given incredible "power to get wealth," as Abraham was, that it might be a testimony of God's name and power to those who do not yet know the Lord. The end-time Joseph's of this world, are demonstrating the fact that God is indeed at work, in the workplace.
Chapter 471) Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. 2) And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. 3) And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. 4) They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. 5) And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: 6) The land of Egypt is 1before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.
(Gen 13:9, Gen 20:15) 7) And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8) And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? 9) And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. 10) And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh. 11) And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12) And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families. 13) And there was no bread in all the land; for the 1famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. (Gen 41:30, Psa 105:16) 14) And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15) And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. 16) And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. 17) And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year. 18) When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: 19) Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate. 20) And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. 21) And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. 22) Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands. 23) Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. 24) And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. 25) And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. 26) And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's. 27) And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. 28) And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
In his preaching, he desired that all might be saved, for God is no "respecter of persons." As Christians come under greater persecution, and the religious monuments, containing verses of scripture, are commanded taken down, in courts in our own country of America, whose laws were bible based, doors are opening for the propagation and religious liberty of other religions, such as we read of in the following article:
BRENTWOOD, CA (ANS) -- As children return to school this week, following the Christmas break, 7th graders in a growing number of public schools, who are not permitted to wear a cross or speak the name of Jesus, will be required to attend an intensive three week course on Islam; a course in which students are mandated to learn the tenets of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own Jihad.
When, following the Sept 11, 2001 Trade Tower tragedy, some 500 Islamics in California were arrested, and placed in jail, they brought a law suit against those whom they felt were responsible.
As a married couple, we have done volunteer work in our community in various capacities with the civic association of our city. Meetings have been held for many years, at the church next door to our house, on a monthly basis. Alana serving as secretary/ treasurer for 18 monthes. We also know the family of the mayor of our city, and when his mother was ill, prayed in her home for her, for her healing.
THE JOSEPH COMPANY & GOD'S PROVIDENCE
It was because of God's providence that Joseph found himself "separate fromhis brethren." God had appointed "richness and fatness," for his life, and the lives of others, and this was how God determined that it would come. Joseph was not a man who wallowed in "self pity," and dejection because of his "lot in life." He immediately sets to work, using the gifts God has given him, and is a blessing in his work situation. In prison, God wastes no time employing Joseph, and others quickly notice his amazing qualifications. The head cup-bearer and head baker, had committed crimes against the king of Egypt,and were also imprisoned in the state-prison. As they awwaited the outcomeof their individual cases, each had a dream. Joseph reminded them that "interpretations belong to God."
As Joseph finds himself suddenly separated from the family he'd known and loved, he knew of a certainty that he was not alone. He still had "the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." When family members let us down, God abides faithful. Meditating on the situation presenting itself, at 17, Joseph was in training for "prison ministry, but didn't know it.
Even in the pit, he was being prepared by God, for the leadership of Egypt, though he was unaware of the future that lay before him. Joseph in observing how his brothers had treated him, knew this was sinful behaviour, and unworthy of men of God. The brothers may have seemed to themselves in that moment in which they betrayed him. They seemed to be the majority, but they were wrong. Have you ever heard a person who is wrong, but who enjoys "the majority rule," say: "You don't suppose that all these are wrong and you are right do you?"
Godly character stands out in your work situation, like a light in the darkness. Even if the whole world is in opposition toward you, they sit up and take notice of godly integrity. Joseph stands upon the truth of God's word, and holding those prophecies God gave his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for these men had taught their families well. God would not fail him now. The anointing on Joseph's life, was a faith that worked by love." He loved and honoured his family and God. Even when he was unjustly imprisoned, Jacob yielded to the Spirit of the Lord, praying, interpreting dreams, sharing prophecies. His faith in God was consistent.
Do you realize that testing is part of God's training of us? That Messiah Himself was driven into the wilderness to be tested? A testing which was multi-faceted, and over which Jesus was victorious. But we're told that "Satan left him for a season." Satan attacked the master "through His closest relationships," i.e. the disciple Peter, who said: Be it far from you Lord, you won't die, when in actuality the cross was God's purpose for the Messiah, who came to die for the sins of the world.
Jesus was tested by religious leaders who openly stated they did not believe He was from God, and to whom He replied: Believe me for the works sake." Last of all, Jesus deepest grief, was when the Heavenly Father from whom He'd never known separation, forsook him as He hung on the cross as the sin-bearer of the whole world.
We must be aware that ties of testing are periodic throughout our lives. God still loves us, and is teaching us in the midst of these. And we must be aware of the danger of being presumptuous, following a time of testing. (Matt. 4:1-10)
From the time Joseph arrived and began to serve as servant in Potiphars house, he began to gain favour with the man. Quickly he gained responsibility over the entire household. In the New Testament, Jesus said: Whoever can be trusted with the mammon of this world, can also be trusted with greater riches, but those that can't be trusted with lesser things won't be given greater responsibilities." (Luke 16:11)
At this time during which Joseph administrated over Potiphar's household, as his "trusted servant," he was slandered by Potiphar's wife, who tried to seduce him, and when he rejected her advances, and fled, she lied and had him unjustly imprisoned. But God did not forget him there. The jailor, observing the excellent spirit in Joseph, gave him additional responsibilities. God having allowed Joseph to be tested, began to change his bless him mightily. Because he had interpreted dreams for Pharaoh's servants in prison, he was entitled on to interpret Pharaoh's dreams. He prophesied of a coming famine which would last 7 years, and was believed and allowed to prepare for these disastrous years.
HE WAS TAKEN FROM PRISON & FROM JUDGMENT
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of My people was he stricken." (Isaiah 53:8)
When Pharaoh saw that Joseph was endowed with unusual wisdom and understanding, he knew this was from God. Daniel had been careful to "give God the glory." Pharaoh put him in charge of all Egypt. The scriptures tell us that Pharaoh brought Joseph "hastily" out of the prison. Joseph was now able to shave for the first time in who knows how long, and to change his clothing. And he came in unto Pharaoh. The Pharaoh needed answers now! (Gen. 41:14-15) "Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh's presence and traveled throughout Egypt." - (Genesis 41:46)
And Pharaoh said: I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it. And I have heard say of thee, that you can understand a dream to interpret it." And Joseph said: "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer in peace." And Pharaoh said: "In my dream, behold, I stood on the bank of a river. And behold there came up out of the river, 7 kine, (cattle) fat-fleshed, and well-favoured; such as I never saw, in all the land of Egypt for badness. A nd they fed in the meadow. And behold, 7 other kine came up after them, and very ill favoured, and lean-fleshed kine, which ate up the first 7 kine. And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them. but they were still ill favored as at the beginning. So I awoke.
And I saw in my dream and behold, 7 ears came upon one stalk, full and good. And behold 7 ears withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind came after them. And the thin ears devoured the 7 good ears. And I told this to the magicians, but there was none that could declare it to me." " (Genesis 41:17-25)
And Joseph said:
The dream of Pharaoh is one. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Therefore look for a man that is discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him apoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the 7 plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store, to the land, against the 7 years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt, that it not perish, through the famine."
And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants. And he said: Can we find such a one in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharoah said to Joseph: Forasmuch as God has showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou. And thou shall be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain on his neck; and he made him ride in the second chariot which he had, and they cried before him: Bow the knee, and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt."
Did you know that God speaks to those of different nations, to those with different religious beliefs than ours, who are many times ignorant of His word? He speaks in dreams and visions. or in parables. This does not mean that they have bible salvation yet, as we see those of various nations receive in Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:46-48, Acts 19:5) But at times, the Lord will give them a sign, as He gave the centurian named Cornelius, (Acts 10:1-33) in or as he gave the Ethiopian eunuch, when Philip discerned the will of the Lord and approached his chariot, just as he read the book of Isaiah. (Acts 8:29)
Joseph knew more of what was happening in Egypt at this time economically, than Jay Greenspan knows of economics in America. He knew this because the Spirit of the Lord revealed it to him. He knew what Egypt ought to do, in light of the coming crisis. Although Joseph received revelation from God, he could not save the nation without the help of others, who were appointed as administrative assistants. When the famine spread throughout the land, Joseph, dealt wisely preparing for thee lean years, by building huge graineries across the land of Egypt.
Meanwhile, food began to grow scarce where Jacob's family lived, and Jacob learned that there was a plenteous supply of food in the land of Egypt. So he sent his sons, who were Joseph's brothers, to Egypt to buy grain.
There is a blessing to be received, in prophetic words which are also corrective, as these are to the 12 sons of Jacob. The revelation that God gives to His children, goes far beyond that which our fathers knew. When I say this, I refer to the fact that God has a calling for each of us that is specialized. In this sense, it is unlike that of any other individual, or family member. The famine ultimately forced Jacob's whole family to Egypt, but they did not go because of circumstances alone. For Jacob sought the Lord, and God gave him a word. Do you know that circumstances are not sufficient as "guidance?" We God's word on a given situation!
God spoke to Israel in visions, saying: "I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation. (Genesis 46:2-3)Circumstances can certainly be an indicator that it may be time for a change. I've been meditating lately on the fact that the bible tells of a city under seige, and in that city was a poor wise man, and that poor wise man delivered that city, by wisdom. Sometimes people use excuses not to see deliverance happen in their lives and the lives of those they love, rather than to see miraculous change. They say: I cannot see a miracle, because I am old...I am poor. But I am telling you by the word of the Lord that our bibles tell us a poor wise man delivered a city! "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and delivered him, and saved him out of all his troubles." (Psalm 34:6) Sometimes we do a thing because we've prayed and sought the Lord, and a certain course of action seems the right move to make.
"Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive be delivered? But thus says the Lord...Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be deivered: for I will contend with him that contends with thee and I will save thy children. " (Isaiah 49:24-25)
Do you hear what God is saying here? He is saying that yes, sometimes Satan feels that he has a legal ground on which to hold one of our loves ones. But God is a miracle working God, and He wants you and I to be co-workers together with Him through Christ Jesus, to see the captives set free. Joseph's brothers needed deliverance as much as he did. And God was working from both ends.